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Larry McMurtry, 'Lonesome Dove' author and 'Brokeback Mountain' screenwriter, dies at 84

Photo courtesy of LM Otero / AP file

A prolific writer whose work was mostly set in the American West.

Posted: Mar 26, 2021 12:23 PM

NBC News- Larry McMurtry, a prolific writer who wrote mostly about the American West and who won a Pulitzer for the sweeping novel "Lonesome Dove," has died, a family spokesperson said Thursday. He was age 84.

Spokeswoman Amanda Lundberg confirmed McMurtry's death to NBC News Friday. No other details were immediately available.

Over half a century, McMurtry wrote almost 50 books, including novels, screenplays, essay collections and memoirs that were predominantly set in the West. Several of his early works became feature films, including Oscar-winners "The Last Picture Show" and "Terms of Endearment."

His epic 1985 novel "Lonesome Dove," which focused on a cattle drive from Texas to the Great Plains, was later adapted into a popular television miniseries that starred actors Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, and Danny Glover.

The four-part television series earned many accolades, including 18 Emmy nominations and seven wins.

In a 2014 interview with The Associated Press, McMurtry said the novel was "an effort to kind of demythologize the myth of the Old West."

Later, McMurtry and his longtime collaborator Diana Ossana won an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay for the 2005 movie, "Brokeback Mountain," which was based on a short story by Annie Proulx.

He graduated from North Texas State College, what is now the University of North Texas in Denton, and attended Rice University in Houston for his master's degree.

This is a breaking story. Please check back for updates.

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